We do it every day. We walk from one side of the office to the other. Walk to the mailbox. Take our trash out. Go up and down the stairs. We sometimes take our legs for granted, but they do, in fact, take us everywhere. But when was the last time you really thought about the true benefits of “the walk.”
1. It’s Great Exercise
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that we exercise at a moderate intensity level for at least 2 ½ hours weekly; walking is a great way to accomplish this goal. As a matter of fact, the average person burns between 80 and 140 calories per walking mile and with the average male eating approximately 2700 calories/day and the average female eating about 2200/day, someone that walks one hour would burn approximately 400 to 700 calories.
2. It works a lot of muscle groups
Overall, walking works major muscles. Just pushing off involves your gluteus muscles (butt) and certain muscles in your hamstrings. And as you walk, the twisting motion uses the oblique muscles in your sides.
There are two specific muscles that support and strengthen your lower back, the quadratus lumborum and multifidus muscles. And let’s not forget the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles – all of which benefit from the constant motion. Finally, since your arms help maintain and increase your speed, they also benefit. To get the greatest effect, bend your arms at the elbow.
3. It’s a decompressor
You might think it gives you the chance to think too much, but remember, you are thinking in action. You are doing something positive while working through challenges, problems, and relationship issues. A good walk also takes you away from the rest of the world, which opens your mind to new ideas that can lead to life-changing opportunities.
4. It reduces dementia
According to recent statistics by the Alzheimer’s Disease International, there are 44 million people living with dementia. Studies have shown that exercise and eating right can help reduce the risks and walking is one form of exercise that involves no exercise equipment or even pre-planning. You can do it instantly.
5. It’s heart healthy
Exercising lowers the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol, promoting a healthy heart.
6. It decreases mortality
A study performed by the National Walkers Health Study of recreational walkers identified that those who walked fastest had a lower death rate.
There you have it. Now, I realize that the majority of our focus has been to include walking in our lives as a means to lose weight, but walking is also a great way to be proactive with our lives and maintain our weight. Again, this is an opportunity to do “something” with very little effort. You don’t need weights or special equipment. It’s all you, baby! So make it happen!
What better way to get in your exercise, expand your way of thinking, and live a healthier lifestyle.
Establish your direction, increase your speed, and get to the end goal. This is a definitely "just do it" item in life.